I don’t know where this post will go today. It’s been quite a month, one that seemed to always be pushing along at break-neck speed. It’s been filled with some incredible joys and some tights spots as well. But can’t that be said for any “past month?” Aren’t we always reflecting backwards saying, “Wow, that was quite a day/week/month!”
Think back to where you were last year? Yeah, right? Whoa, that seems like forever ago! Are you now where you thought you would be then? Did life happen the way that you wanted it to unfold? Of course not! This might be my first insight to “being present in the moment.” I’ve read about this in a variety of Christian, Buddhist, “new age” and other varieties of spiritual articles and books, but it never seems to make visceral sense. I am present, I am always present. How can I not be present? Sometimes I am too present! I’d like to not be present, in other words, asleep.
There is one thing principle that I take issue with in many of the spiritual methods on being present. It’s the idea that you need to take quiet, isolated moments to be able to better achieve this present state of mind. I think that this is one way to be present, but I have found in my own life that we might not just be aware of the other times. The times when you are playing with your children and laughing at the far-fetched imaginations they have, or in the conversations in a group of friends where your internal monologue has ceased and you are engrossed in the topic at hand, a moment with a student who is sharing about his life and what changes have occurred at home, or while sharing a cup of coffee watching the way your friend twitches their lips while they are thinking about the best way to phrase a reply. These are the times I feel most present, my most human, most alive.
Perhaps is about not just feeling the moment but just accepting that you are always being hurtled forth through life with all the baggage that comes with it. There are going to be tight spots of insurmountable obstacles and there are going to be times when your smile could split your face. In the end, it’s all a wash.
As a kid I would go biking, not mountain biking, no that would’ve made sense. I went all around town and to other towns on my one speed bmx-er. It was during these journeys that I I quickly realized that every hill has a valley. It never mattered. There is no endless hill.